Tiger transit rape suspect’s bond remains revoked

Courtesy of the Lee County Detention Facility: Tony Patillo

AUBURN, Ala. — The man accused of raping an Auburn University student on a Tiger transit bus will remain in jail without bond.

Lee County District Judge Steven Speakman denied the motion made by 51-year-old Tony Patillo’s attorney that his bond be reinstated. Back in September, Patillo was released on bond, and a condition of that bond was that he wear an ankle monitor.

On two days in late-September, the battery on Patillo’s ankle monitor read 10%, which meant it did not accurately function as it would if it were fully charged. The state said there were 23 hours where Patillo was not being tracked. The state said that Patillo followed all the policies with the monitor, but stopped charging the ankle monitor properly.

“For all intensive purposes, Mr. Patillo is a predator,” Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes said. “We all know what he is accused of. We all know what he did. When somebody does something like that and is allowed back out in the community with something specific as an ankle monitor, that’s critical we know where he is at any point we need to pull it up. Not on a whim when Mr. Patillo wants us to know and decides he wants to know and decides he’s going to charge it so we can find out. That’s why it’s a problem. He had an opportunity to be out. He did really well for over a week until he decided it was too much trouble or he didn’t want us to know. Sure, when it gets plugged in and charged up, we can find out where’s he’s been after the fact, but I’m not sure we want to find out after the fact that he’s been somewhere where doesn’t need to be, and he’s been up to the same thing that got him here.”

Patillo’s defense claimed that he had a faulty charging device or that he did not have proper instructions on how to charge it.

When your freedom is at stake, it’s important you dot all your I’s, cross all your T’s, and charge your charger,” Judge Speakman said. “Mr. Patillo did not do that. It was a condition of bond. To me, that’s a fairly open and shut issue.”

The preliminary hearing for both Patillo and James Johnson Junior is set for November 15.

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